Saturday, November 5, 2011

Making Spelling Fun

I've chosen to teach Sierra spelling by utilizing a workbook*. Like in typical classrooms, she gets a spelling list every Monday, does various worksheets throughout the week that utilize the words, and takes a test on Friday.

It worked well last year. This year, the words are quickly getting long and complicated. For all her brilliance in many other subjects, Sierra just isn't a very good speller. That's not surprising because her dad and I weren't very good spellers at her age either. It's fairly common for kids her age to still be spelling phonetically, but a lot of times she doesn't even take the time to do that, so we've really been looking for ways to improve her spelling.

She still does her worksheets (we're actually repeating the last 2 weeks because she thoroughly failed the tests), but I wanted to add some fun ways to practice her spelling list too.

First up, I bought a set of alphabet stamps and an ink pad (they were half off at Hobby Lobby). She loves stamping and doesn't get to do it often, so she's eager to sit down with the stamps even if it is to stamp her spelling list. Yes, I realize she misspelled "perfect" on a spelling list. At least it's phonetic though!

Next, I bought some beads stamped with letters and pipe cleaners to string them on so it's easy to see the word once the beads are put together.
Next, I made letter magnets. I put sticker letters (found in the scrapbooking section) on magnets then I put a drop of glass glue on top and pressed on a glass bead (found in the floral section). She can work with the magnets on the back of an old cookie sheet to spell out her words and Sedona can also easily use these to work on reading.

Secora thought these were pretty cool too
"What word are we spelling, sister?" "Hmmm...how do you move these things around?""gbrswy. Yeah, that looks right"

Looks like we won't be one of those homeschooling families at the national spelling bee. I so badly wanted to win a spelling bee when I was a kid. I would study the book of words for weeks....and get knocked out in the first or second round. Tragic.

I think it's important that she learn how to spell correctly, but I don't want to stress her out over it, so I'm hoping these little games encourage her to practice her words more on her own initiative.



P.S. Please, hold the hate mail about babies and magnets. I'm well aware of the dangers. I was watching the entire time, she's not strong enough to pull them off the cookie sheet and when we were done, I counted to make sure they were all there and put it up out of her reach

P.P.S. photo credit goes to Sierra for most of these. She is dying to learn how to use the DSLR, so I let her take some pics today.

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1 comment:

sharyn said...

I think the magnets are beautiful.

When my kids were beginning to learn spelling I did a couple of things you might want to add to your repertoire.

I printed words on a labeller and stuck the labels to the object. We still have labels on ourwasher, dryer and a door that say "washer," "dryer," and "door."

I also printed their sight words and stuck those labels on the front face of our kitchen countertop, at exactly eye level.

Finally, frequently when we were talking about whatever, I'd spell a word I'd just said.

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